Surrey, BC
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Single-Family Residential  

Mr. & Mrs. Stewart


Construction cost
3 million

Total Area
2,500 ft2






Every location has a particular ambience, a sense of place. The powerful presence of landscape exerts a strong influence and calls for the work to concern itself with form for the sake of the site rather than form for the sake of form.

Site characteristics include solidity, angularity, irregular profile, homogeneity and monolithic color. The architectural response - a reciprocity of abstracted form is appropriate in terrain such as this.

The program calls for the usual residential amenities for the owners with provisions for occasional guest. In addition to the house there is an extra building for two cars and a truck plus office, workshop and storage over. The buildings occupy a small plateau about 500 feet above the Fraser Valley with a magnificent panoramic view of the Fraser River and the mountains beyond.

The characteristic of randomness pervades nature and appears in this design as an integral feature. The walls utilize non-orthogonal geometry, ceiling heights vary, the plan eschews formality.

The buildings occupy a small plateau, creating an entrance courtyard. The house follows the edge of the plateau, opening up all rooms to the view.

The plan of the house explores room relationships based upon Tessellation - A small family of simple shapes is assembled to combine in free formation whilst maintaining order. The geometric diagram illustrates how the segments fit together, utilizing multiples of 4 plywood panels to minimize waste.

The roof incorporates tiled elements as metaphorical expression of the pre-dominant angularity and irregularity of the landscape. Location of these elements is at the terminals.

Exterior walls are limited to concrete and wood. Doors and window frames are wood. Roofing is torch on membrane.

Warm grey/brown colors applied uniformly will provide a monolithic rock-line appearance.

Room segments are placed in sequence following the edge of the drop.